Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Gesundheit! Grape Juices

A few weeks ago we took a trip to Niagara on the Lake to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday and to enjoy some local wines and food. One of the wineries we stopped at, Konzelmann, also sold Gesundheit! grape juices, which I just couldn't resist.

Made by Niagara Juice Co., the Gesundheit! juices come in 2 sizes and 2 varieties - 240 mL and 750 mL and in Baco Noir Grape and Vidal Grape, respectively. I bought the smaller bottles, which retailed for $3.49 each to try each. The larger ones were closer to $10.

Vidal Grape Juice

The lighter of the two has a very sweet, grape jelly-like aroma with a sour twist. The mouth-feel is velvet-like and the flavor is similar but the sweetness is cut by the slightly tart character while you are sipping. The finish is where the tartness goes away and the sweetness builds up. A hint of grape skins lingers and gives this juice a rewarding end. Great!

Taste - 9/10

Baco Noir Grape Juice

This one has a beautiful, deep plum color. The aroma is rich with Baco Noir grapes and a touch of moist fruit cake. The flavor is tart throughout with a wonderful grape composition that builds up from the start and well into the finish. Fruity notes appear for a brief moment near the finish but are cut by the tart grape skin finish. Love the tartness of this one.

Taste - 9.3/10

Thursday, August 27, 2015

GoodDrink Organic Spritzer Wild Blackberry

Wow, this GoodDrink Spritzer has an amazing blackberry aroma. I can hold the can under my nose for hours. It has the potency of a Jolly Rancher-filled field of berries!

The flavor is not bad either, but definitely not as least at first. The start of each sip is a little watery but as the liquid travels down your tongue, the profile develops and the flavor almost the same Jolly Rancher potency as the aroma near the end...with a slightly citric, wild spike.

The only thing separating the blackberry flavor from the real thing is the candy-like finish, which I absolutely love. It is just sweet enough to give you the sensation of having enjoyed a piece of blackberry candy, but not sweet enough to make you want some water.

Delicious. Love that candy-like finish with a touch of acidity.

Taste - 9.2/10

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

GoodDrink Organic Spritzer Granny Smith Apple

Just a few days ago I came across a stash of GoodDrink beverages at a fairly new grocery store near us - Marcello's City Market. The Granny Smith is the first of 4 that I will be reviewing.

The Granny Smith Spritzer has a light golden color with a Golden Delicious/Granny Smith aroma. Though the flavor starts off sweet and mellow, the typical Granny Smith sour bite emerges quickly and lingers until the finish. A good balance of sweeter apples is present cutting down on the sourness while adding some depth.

There are only 16 grams of sugar in the can which, in my opinion, is the right amount. The sweetness never builds up, but there is enough of it to balance out the sourness.

Taste - 9/10...great and refreshing apple juice. Love it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Steaz Iced Green Tea Peach

Whenever I want Steaz, I cannot find it anywhere. When I don't care about it, I keep running into it. So, I have decided to just buy whatever Steaz I see and just stockpile them at home for when I want one. I found this Iced Green Tea Peach today at the local Sobey's for only $1.19. Not sure why it was on discount, but I made sure to just buy and not ask questions.

This Steaz has a cloudy, light yellow color with an obvious peach aroma. The flavor hits you hard and lasts through each sip, but quickly dies in the finish. The flavor is well done and the beverage reminds me of eating not too ripe peaches. Some tartness emerges in the form of lemon juice but it is not until the finish and gives the aftertaste some cleanliness. 

The label is correct - the beverage is lightly sweetened and the sweetness doesn't take away from the peach flavor. Thanks to this, there is no sugary build up and you are not forced to have a glass of water after you consume this can. The light sweetness also offers the green tea a chance to compliment the peach and not get lost completely.

Very refreshing drink on a hot day and the price is right.

Taste - 8.8/10

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bomb Energy Drink

Bomb Beverage Company is based out of the neighboring town of Hamilton and my encounter with their Bomb energy drink is the first I have had with this company. I didn't even know this energy drink and the company existed so close. I got this can from the local Independent City Market (a Loblaws) for $3.


This smells and tastes like an "almost clone" of Red Bull. It has the same base flavor, but the acidity is taken to a whole new level. I even puckered up at first. This new level of sourness helps keep the candy-sweetness present in the regular Red Bull to a minimum and also gives you a very clean aftertaste.

I cannot I believe I am saying this, but this drink is way too sour for my liking. Yup. I said it. If the sourness was dialed down a little bit, it would be an improved Red Bull.


Like any other 250 mL can, there are 80 mg of caffeine and the effects are the same - an almost immediate sugary rush with a side of jitters, followed by an overenergetic feeling for about 1 to 1.5 hours, followed by a light crash.

Cost - $3
Taste - 8/10
Energy - 6/10

Overall - 14/20...a very sour Red Bull

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Paca Cappuccino

I picked this Paca Cappuccino a few weeks ago from a nearby T&T Supermarket for only $0.99. They were having a sale on all of these Paca dry mix coffees, but only the Cappuccino one enticed me. I mean, how can you pass up on something like this?


Paca Cappuccino comes with no English instructions on how to make the coffee, but there is a picture with some arrows and numbers. From it, I deduced that first you add the instant coffee packet (there are 2 in the container), then add 210 mL of boiling water and then you add the second packet, which contains only some sweet white powder.

I followed these steps and ended up with something resembling a cappuccino - brown-ish liquid with a finger thick layer of off-white foam. I guess the white powder is the non-dairy milk that gives it the white foam.

The aroma is not the most enticing one since the hot coffee also seemed to be picking up some cardboard aromas from the container, but still beneath all that, you could tell that there was some coffee.

The coffee itself is nothing to get excited about. It starts off like burnt beans with a note of cardboard and transitions to a slightly sweet and milky coffee/cream-like combo with roasted notes. The aftertaste is where the coffee notes emerge and linger. Also there are no rancid off-flavors since there is no dairy.

Tough sell even for $0.99. I had a much better one in Japan.


I have no idea if the label even makes a mention of how much caffeine is in the container, but I will tell you that the kick I got was comparable to a cup of instant coffee. There was definitely a boost, but it falls short of a freshly brewed cup of coffee...even with a crappy, average blend like Folgers.

Still, I got enough of a boost in the afternoon to go on with my day like I had just woken up. I guess for $0.99, the kick is not too bad.

Cost - $0.99
Taste - 6.8/10
Energy - 6.9/10

Overall - 13.7/20...a little cardboard-y with a burnt coffee note, but an OK kick

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cedar Cold Pressed Juice Orange Grapefruit Tumeric Ginger

Cold pressed juices have started to become more and more popular around our area. Even our local Bulk Barn has them. To admit, I am getting more and more curious. Makers compete with interesting flavor combinations and to attract buyers with some of the most amazing designs. Cedar is definitely at the top of the design game. I love the tall bottles with the simple labels. I don't love the $7 price, but after all, it is fresh juice.

There are many Cedar flavors, but at $7 a pop, I will take my time buying and reviewing them. After staring at the available flavors at the local Bulk Barn, I decided to go for the most refreshing sounding one - Orange, Grapefruit, Turmeric (which by the way is misspelled on the label) and Ginger! What a combo?

First off, you gotta love the bright orange color. The added turmeric really takes up the already bright orange juice to another level. The aroma is 90% oranges, 5% ginger and 5% everything else. The flavor is sooo refreshing with a blast of orange and grapefruit juice that lingers for a long time. Turmeric kicks in as well and lurks, but the grapefruit seriously overpowers it and everything else. Some ginger comes in near the finish and gives the aftertaste a slightly peppery tone. But again that grapefruit seriously overpowers it and creates a very long lasting finish similar to leaving a piece of peel in your mouth.

Love it. Love it. Love it. Love cold pressed juices. If you prefer to sit down and have a really fresh one, why not try The Cold Pressery.